Ronaldo, Messi, Maradona: What's the greatest XI in football history?

Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi features in the XI chosen by AS

Picking the greatest XI in football history is an unforgiving task for anyone.

The sport has played home to countless incredible athletes down the years and narrowing that sizeable list down to just 11 names is near enough impossible.

However, that doesn’t stop the majority of football lovers from giving it a good go and Spanish publication AS have now decided to offer their two cents on the matter.

They formed a panel made up of numerous high-profile judges and asked each of them to name their very own ‘Legends XI’.

Alfredo Relano, Alvaro Benito, Santiago Segurola, Dani Garrido, Enrique Ortego, Axel Torres, Jose Samano, Kiko Narvaez, Luis Nieto, Manu Carreño, Jose Samano, Vicente Jimenez, Aritz Gabilondo, Cristian Arcos, Alejandro Gomez, Sarah Castro and Jose Luis Garci were those selected.

The players who featured the most in the array of selected XIs were then chosen for AS‘ final team, which you can view in full below. 

AS Legends XI

Ronaldo & Messi

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas

Defender: Sergio Ramos

Defender: Franz Beckenbauer

Defender: Roberto Carlos

Lev Yashin, Fabio Cannavaro, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini are the standout names to miss out at the back. The latter’s omission is certainly bizarre, given he’s regularly lauded as the greatest defender of all time.

Ramos in action

Midfield: Xavi Hernandez

Midfield: Diego Maradonna

Midfield: Johan Cruyff

Midfield: Pele

A very attack-minded midfield setup chosen by AS, with Zinedine Zidane, Andres Iniesta and Lothar Matthaus three of the most notable absentees in the middle of the park.

Xavi with Barcelona

Forward: Lionel Messi

Forward: Alfredo di Stefano

Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo

Attacking trios don’t come much better. Messi and Ronaldo are probably the two greatest players of all time, while Di Stefano’s achievements as a player for Real Madrid are seriously underrated in the present day.

However, many will argue that Ronaldo Nazario should be the man leading the line here.

The full XI

So there you have it, an XI full of legends.

To be honest, it would have been nice to see a team selected with more balance to it, but that’s the issue with picking the greatest XI of all time.

There are just too many attack-minded names to shoehorn into the side, leaving the final product a bit of a mess.

Sorry for being picky…

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